Updated CDC mask guidance may soon begin to pave the way for more relaxing of mask use outdoors at Disney World

Apr 27, 2021 in "The Walt Disney Company"

Posted: Tuesday April 27, 2021 12:30pm ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has today announced new mask guidance to recommend that fully vaccinated people can unmask outdoors if they are walking, running, hiking or biking alone or with members of their household.

However, the CDC is continuing to recommend avoiding large-sized gatherings, and fully vaccinated people should also avoid medium-sized gatherings. For the fully vaccinated who do chose to attend a crowded outdoor event, wearing a mask is still recommended.

In today's guidance, it has also been clarified that fully vaccinated people can also go mask free while dining at an outdoor restaurant with friends from multiple households.

The updated CDC guidance was announced in a briefing by the Whitehouse COVID team a few moments ago. The news was not unexpected, as top advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci hinted over the weekend that the guidance would be updated this week.

The updated CDC mask guidance could begin to pave the way for a further relaxation of mask use at Walt Disney World. Current face covering rules at the Disney theme parks mean that masks must be worn at all times, expect for while eating, drinking and taking photographs while stationary.

Assuming that Disney World theme parks fall under the crowded outdoor event category, the CDC recommendation continues to be masks for both fully vaccinated people and unvaccinated people, with those who are vaccinated being designated the safest, and those who are not vaccinated the least safe.

Any updated guidance coming from the CDC is especially significant because Disney has followed CDC guidance from the very first days of the pandemic.

Disney most recently relaxed its mask policy in early April, allowing guests to remove masks to take photographs while stationary. It should also be noted that Disney remains under Orange County mandatory mask usage rules, which Mayor Jerry Demings has said he expects to be lifted in the summer.

There is no update yet from Disney on this latest CDC guidance.

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SteveAZee6 days ago

It seems like the idea, in restaurants, is to keep the spread local to the table as much as possible, conceding that you're eating and drinking there so... particulates all over. Moving from door to table or table to restroom allows you to 'spread the wealth' across all the tables in between... so I sort of understand the logic of maskless at the dining table and masked everywhere else.

Chi846 days ago

I see almost no masking in restaurants. People wear them walking to and from their table but don’t wear them at all while seated. It’s just the nature of restaurants. I’m not sure how much good mask mandates are doing in restaurants. The servers do wear them so maybe that helps.

SteveAZee6 days ago

I suppose that's possible, certainly in broader applications. Having mask mandates under controlled environments likely to cause spread (such as airplanes, restaurants, etc), that seems to work. Trying to enforce a mask mandate for the public at large seems difficult.

Tom P.6 days ago

I do look at the comparative data. Which is why I think mask mandates should all be lifted. There is very little, if any, data to suggest that mask mandates make any appreciable difference. Note that I am referring to mask mandates, not to masks themselves. Effectiveness of masks themselves is an entirely different matter. But having mandates in place does not seem to make any significant difference in outcomes.

Ayla7 days ago

Zero chance.

Trauma7 days ago

You make a great point here about a clearly defined goal. It makes it easier to determine success or failure. It also makes it easier to then replicate the goal in other similar settings.

MansionButler847 days ago

A goal is better than a vague, “maybe someday,” at least.

mikejs787 days ago

We will see how well that works here in MA. We have a universal school mask mandate until October 1. After Oct 1, schools can remove the mask requirement for vaccinated students and staff only, and only if the school reaches an 80% vaccination threshold.

Trauma7 days ago

Exactly. We can not aim at a target that does not exist. We need a goal. A person who says I want to lose 5 pounds is much more likely to take action that a person who says I need to lose some weight. Yes they are both goals but one is more clearly defined and therefore more likely to be acted upon.

MansionButler847 days ago

They don’t WANT to keep the masks, obviously. At the latest, I’m sure they go away for good when respiratory illness season ends next spring.

Tinkwings7 days ago

And while doing so, unless you are all by yourself.....

Trauma7 days ago

At then end of the day when Florida’s numbers drop down to May/June levels Disney will be forced to either change policy or lose business.

Chi847 days ago

Based on their past actions, I personally would not be comfortable predicting what either the CDC or Disney will do regarding masks in the next few months. I would caution anyone planning a trip to take any such predictions with a huge grain of salt.

Touchdown7 days ago

If/When Florida goes to yellow (moderate transmission) then I think Disney will consider lifting the order, however Florida is still very much in the red (severe) range and more then double the upper limit of orange (substantial.) They are unlikely to get there prior to 10/1. Disneyland, more specifically Orange County, CA however, may very well get there before 10/1. Watch to see what happens there to determine Disney’s plan.